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Palette(i)locked

  • E. Finkenstaedt

Extract

Carved ceremonial palette of ancient Egypt that derived from the functional palettes used for grinding eye paint from c. 6000 to c. 3000 bc (seeEgypt, ancient, §XVI, 13). As the green paint, derived from malachite, came to be associated with Horus, the god of kingship, palettes came to be regarded as appropriate votive offerings and were suitably decorated. Like their functional predecessors, ceremonial palettes were made of greywacke or schist, materials found in the Wadi Hammamat region. A transitional stage between the functional and the ceremonial types is represented by such artefacts as a rhomboid palette surmounted by figures of birds and ornamented with a hunter and three ostriches in raised relief (Manchester, C.A.G., 5476) and an ovoid palette carved with the head of a cow, possibly representing the goddess Hathor, flanked by stars (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., 34173). These are followed by a number of palettes shaped in the outline form of opposed pairs of animals (dogs, antelopes, ibexes, oryxes and goats). The best known of these are the ...

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